If I have one piece of advice for my sister who is in college right now, it is “Don’t Sell Your Books!” I regret selling off my books. I regret that in a general way; I wish I still had every book I once had, if only to have a library that resembles the libraries of well-educated people I know and admire. But sometimes, I will find myself in a situation where I need a specific particular book that I once had. It is a terrible feeling. I’ve felt that with at least a dozen books now. I clearly remember staring at my big expensive general entomology textbook and saying to myself, this is one book I will never, never need again. It took 11 years, but sure enough I did need it again. The feeling is worse when it hits me here in Malaysia because so many books are out of reach or expensive enough in Ringgit to be prohibitive.

If I live long enough I think I will have cause to regret each individual book I have owned and lost. The most recent book I’m missing is my old Elementary Modern Standard Arabic Textbook. It was a great big heavy orange book from a class that I was hostile towards to begin with, so somewhere amongst my dozen changes of address and/or times of financial need I sold it. Now that I’m finally studying Arabic again, I miss it sorely. So I was thrilled to come across a pdf of an ancient (1890’s?) Arabic Grammar textbook in English available online. I strongly suspect that it is way over my head, but I’ll take what I can get. Thank you very much to Ghazali.org for making it available. I found it by way of Seeker’s Digest, by way of Alexandalus. Ghazali.org has a huge number of other texts available as does its sister site, Muslim Philosophy.

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.

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  1. As Salaam Alaikum

    I’ve just stumbled onto your site, alhamdulillah very nice.

    I have the orange book πŸ™‚ There is a good one I’m using for an Arabic class “A New Arabic Grammar” by J.A. Haywood and N.H. Nahmad. I purchased it from http://www.Islamicbookstore.com but perhaps you can find it there. I think its put together a bit better than the orange book, and covers that entire orange book in the first 24 chapters so it does go further as well.

    Shipping here (Saudi) wasn’t that expensive so I’ll assume it wouldn’t be that bad to ship to you.

    I love Malaysia, inshallah I’ll be there this summer as I was last summer. And I always come back w/ a suitcase full of books. I find many of them much cheaper. Probably because Saudi is void of good reading and to have books shipped in usually gets a bit pricey.

    And I definately agree with you, NEVER get rid of a book. Unless you have more than one copy!

  2. i don’t know zayn…there is also a great wisdom in giving away and selling one’s books after one has made at least some use of them. have you heard the story of imam al-ghazzali and the caravan thieves?

  3. You had to put me on the spot didn’t you, Zayn? Um, I don’t want to paraphrase the story or just give the gist of it so lemme see if I can find it somewhere and I’ll post it insha’Allah…unless someone else is reading this and can share it with us!!! Alhamdulillah, bi khair. Doin’ fine. Thank you for asking. (:-)

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